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Feb 12, 2024

Energy, Cooperation & Our Species’ Future with Michael Muthukrishna (podcast)

What makes humans smart? Why do we cooperate? How might the dynamics of energy abundance, culture, and innovation impact humanity's future capacity to flourish?

By Templeton Staff

How might the practical and existential challenges we face as a species be solved by understanding and applying what Dr. Michael Muthukrishna calls the "laws of life" — the need for energy, innovation, cooperation, and evolution?

Dr. Michael Muthukrishna, researcher, author, and Associate Professor of Economic Psychology at the London School of Economics discusses his book A Theory of Everyone: The New Science of Who We Are, How We Got Here, and Where We’re Going for this episode of Many Minds podcast. The book paints a panoramic picture of human history and what makes human beings different from all other forms of life on the planet. It brings together insights from recent research across the sciences, humanities, and the emerging field of cultural evolution to explore possibilities for a flourishing future.

Many Minds podcast host, cognitive scientist, and writer Kensy Cooperrider introduces the episode:

"In this conversation, Michael Muthukrishna and I talk about the book and lay out that grand theory mentioned in the title. We discuss energy and how — since the very origins of life — it’s proven to be a fundamental, unshakeable constraint. We talk about the nature of human intelligence and consider the dynamics of human cooperation and innovation. We also delve into a few of the implications that Michael’s 'theory of everyone' has for the future of our species. Along the way, we touch on carrying capacity, nuclear fusion, inclusive fitness, religion, the number line, multiculturalism, AI, the Flynn effect, and chaos in the brickyard."

Be sure to check out the show notes for links with detailed information.

Play the episode with the above player.

Learn more about Templeton World Charity Foundation's Diverse Intelligences priority.

Templeton World Charity Foundation's Diverse Intelligences is a multiyear, global effort to understand a world alive with brilliance in many forms. Its mission is to promote open-minded, forward-looking inquiry in animal, human, and machine intelligences. We collaborate with leading experts and emerging scholars from around the globe, developing high-caliber projects that advance our comprehension of the constellation of intelligences.

Many Minds is a project of the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute (DISI), made possible through a grant from TWCF to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The Many Minds podcast is hosted and produced by Kensy Cooperrider, with help from Assistant Producer Urte Laukaityte. Creative support is provided by DISI Directors Erica Cartmill and Jacob Foster. Artwork featured as the podcast badge is by Ben Oldroyd.